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Prince Rupert track athletes advance beyond zones competition

After a phenomenal season, Charles Hays track star Kevin Rioux is off to provincials, and two others will compete at the B.C. Summer Games.
Charles Hays track and field coach Dighton Haynes laughs with a team member at a Prince Rupert meet.

After a phenomenal season, Charles Hays track star Kevin Rioux is off to provincials, and two other Rupertites will compete at the B.C. Summer Games.

At the regional zones meet in Smithers last weekend, Rioux won the long jump and the 400m race while finishing second in high jump, 100m and 200m and third in discus and triple jump. Rioux hasn't lost a long jump competition this year.

Cody Schaeffer triumphed in the junior 100m and 200m races and came in second in the 400m and long jump categories. For his efforts, he'll be off to the BC Summer Games on July 17-20 in Nanaimo.

Joining him in his summer travels down south is Grade 8 star Isobel Leblanc who won high jump, placed second in 100m and long jump and finished third in 200m for her division. Emily Cavin and Cody Deschamps were named alternates for the B.C. Summer Games team from Rupert.

"[It's] great to have so many personal bests with each of the team members at the meet," said coach Dighton Haynes in an email.

"The individual success is due in part to the Parent Advisory Committee from both Charles Hays and Prince Rupert Middle School supporting the track and field program with the purchase of track shoes. Athletes like Kevin, Cody and Isobel would never be able to compete at the level they have achieved without [them]."

Other great performances came from Jason Rioux who came in second in high jump, third in 200m and fourth 100m and 400m in the junior boys' division.

Deschamps placed first in the 400m and 1500m races and second in 200m and 800m in the Grade 8 boys' category while teammate Zack Dixon followed in Kevin's footsteps for Rupert, winning high jump, long jump and triple jump and coming in second in javelin.

It was Haynes' first season as coach of the Prince Rupert delegation after coming over from Terrace and coaching their squad for 15 years. He also mentioned he would have liked to have seen more athletes make it to zones, but camping, injuries and soccer prevented them from attending.

Provincials will take place from May 29 to 31 in Langley and Kevin will represent Rupert.